Vietnam has, from my understanding, seen a recent explosion in the numbers of motorized two-wheeled vehicles on the roads. As little as a decade ago, the most common transportation was by bicycle. Now, people-powered pedals are the extreme minority, as most zip around the streets on motorbikes like an army of Italians on Vespas—just not as well dressed. But make no mistake, half of them are on the phone. I think I heard one rider even say “ciao!”.

There is a helmet law, which is good. Especially since these two wheeled transports are often carrying not one, not two, but three, four, or even five individuals at a time. But here’s the thing about the helmet law. It doesn’t apply to kids.

Mom and tot on a bike in Hue, Vietnam. Where's your helmet, kid?!

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Call me old fashioned, but aren’t kids our little treasures? I mean, if I had just one working seatbelt in my car, I’d be putting it on the runt, not the adult. And in a land where motorbikes weave around each-other like salmon spawning upstream, where successful navigation of a three-way intersection is based more on string theory chaos than red yellow and green, it seems that the likelihood of a face-plant are relatively high (although to be fair, we only saw one accident—and that was on a rainy day). Those little developing heads are quite fragile, and while we like to claim that kids are invincible, I think road-rash at 50 km/h would not do their future good.

So yeah, it’s a bit odd to see mom and dead with a lid on, but their brood flying free. Crazy.

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